What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is the condition where unpleasant odors are exhaled from a person’s mouth. Most of the time, halitosis is caused by oral bacteria. When these bacteria are not adequately removed with oral hygiene, they collect in the mouth and on the tongue.

Certain risk factors that cause bad breath are:

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don’t brush your teeth and floss every day, harmful bacteria can grow in your mouth. These bacteria create unpleasant odors by breaking down food particles. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day will help reduce your risk of bad breath.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also called caries, is a bacterial infection that breaks down the enamel and dentin that protect the pulp. The bacteria then infect the pulp and cause inflammation. This inflammation leads to halitosis because the body sends proteins and other compounds to fight the infection, which leads to a buildup of sulfur compounds causing bad breath.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of bad breath, which is often caused by bacteria that build up in the pockets around your teeth. Severe cases of periodontitis can lead to bone loss, gum recession, and even tooth loss. The best way to avoid gum disease is to take good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a result of insufficient saliva in the mouth. Saliva provides many benefits to your oral health, including the ability to wash away food particles and prevent the development of cavities. As it evaporates, saliva also produces a natural antibacterial agent called _saliva peroxidase_ (SPM). SPM works to fight off bacteria in the mouth. When saliva production decreases, your mouth becomes vulnerable to bacteria creating bad breath.


Smoking does more than stain your teeth and cause bad breath. It also causes gum disease, tooth discoloration, dry mouth, and an increased risk of oral cancer. All of these health problems can cause bad smells coming from your mouth.

Smoking causes several oral health problems, including oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay. Your teeth become discolored, and your breath becomes foul-smelling.


Even individuals who diligently practice good oral hygiene can experience bad breath. The reason? Certain foods can cause bad breath.

Although brushing and flossing can remove plaque, food particles can remain in the crevices of the mouth. If bacteria are present, those particles can cause bad breath. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, and dairy, contain odor-causing compounds.

Medical Issues

If your dentist suspects that your bad breath is due to a medical condition, he or she may refer you to your family doctor.

Conditions that may lead to chronic bad breath include diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver disease, kidney disease, respiratory infections, sinus infections, etc.

Julita S Patil DDS Inc., located in Concord, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies. To schedule an appointment with the dentist, call the dentist in Concord, CA, at (925) 689-2585 today itself. 

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